Law Library Research Department
User Services Desk
Thurgood Marshall Law Library
Chat with a Librarian
Available Mon-Fri NOON - 6PM
to UM Law Community Only
If you do not receive an immediate response, please contact the User Services Desk.
Preparing for Class
A wide selection of current-edition hornbooks, nutshells, and other study aids are available online via the library's subscription to West Study Aids. Some are also available in print, which you can find by searching the Law Library Catalogs. Newer editions in the Reading Room on Level 2 do not circulate, but older editions that can be checked out can be found in the General Stacks on Level 2.
CALI provides interactive legal instructional lessons on hundreds of topics. Register with CALI to access hundreds of self-guided Computer Assisted Legal Instruction tutorials. Register by going to the law library Databases portal, where you can select CALI and access the UM Carey Law student registration code for CALI, from the library's website at www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall . Once you register, you can log in to CALI.org directly to access the lessons.
Places to Study
Group study rooms are available for use by law students only. Two study rooms on the third floor of the library (Rooms 3321 and 3322) may be used on a first-come-first-served basis. Other third floor study rooms (3320, 3323, 3324 and 3325) can be reserved. Choose “Reserve a Room” from the Quick Links menu on the library website. A minimum of two names (first and last names) with @umaryland e-mail addresses must be given for each reservation request. Three hours is the maximum reservation time per session and per day. Reservations for rooms will be taken only up to one week in advance.
In addition to the group study rooms, students may use the individual study carrels, tables and soft seating located throughout the library. Study carrels and tables are wired for laptop use and Ethernet cables. The Rothenberg Reading Room by the Desk on the main (2nd) floor and the Brown Reading Room on the 3rd floor are popular places to study. In general, the quietest places in the library are on the 1st, 3rd, and 4th floors. The library also offers an accessible work station for students and faculty who require machine-assisted support.
The Library's Rothenberg Reading Room contains basic legal books for many courses, including all of the first-year courses. Check the Library's course reserves page to see if the Library has materials related to your class.
If all your casebooks seem to be full of words you’ve never heard before, you may want to check out a legal dictionary. The two most commonly used are Black’s Law Dictionary (Ref. KF156 .B53 2009) and Ballentine’s Law Dictionary (Ref. KF156.H36 1994). You’ll find other law dictionaries on nearby shelves. Black’s is also available on Westlaw, while Ballentine’s is on Lexis.
Another useful source is Words & Phrases (KF156.W6), which contains definitions the courts have given to legal words and phrases. It has more definitions than one-volume dictionaries, and all are given in context. You can also find Words & Phrases on Westlaw.